Ethical Record Talks & Lectures

1. The Paradox of Modern Humanism At the heart of modern humanism is a paradoxical combination of attitudes: scepticism about religion, but optimism about human nature. By optimism about human nature I mean the view that, not only is it possible for us to be nice to each other, but…

The Howard League is an independent charity, a membership organisation that campaigns for less crime, safer communities, fewer people in prison. In 2016, we celebrate our 150th anniversary – having been founded in 1866 by admirers of John Howard, commonly thought of as the first ever prison reformer. FENNER BROCKWAY…

View Prisons in Crisis

Wed, 20th Apr, 2016

Trident is Britain’s nuclear weapon system. The government likes to refer to it as the nuclear ‘deterrent’, but whether or not it actually works as a deterrent is an open question which we shall consider in a moment. What cannot be disputed is that Trident is a weapon system, designed…

End is Nigh

In recent years, more and more commentators have questioned what used to be a given: that modernization and industrialization would inevitably lead to the decline of religion. They point instead to a resurgence of religion and the emergence of so-called ‘post-secular societies’. At the same time, though, people are identifying…

Boys

“Man (Dis)connected: how technology has sabotaged what it means to be male” is the title of a book by the 82 year old emeritus prof of  psychology at Stanford University, Philip Zimbardo (famed for the Stanford prison experiment, where students put in the roles of prisoners and guards developed mutual…

Universal Basic Income

Interest in universal basic income, that is to say a payment to every individual regardless of work or means, has resurged in the last two to three years. It is an old idea, originally connected to the enclosures and the loss of common land people used for subsistence. It has…

View Are We Owed a Living?

Thu, 17th Mar, 2016

Tom Rubens, in favour of the Motion. Introductory comment “The Party of the 90%” This contribution delineates the outlook of a political party which does not yet exist, but which could come into being either as a completely new party or as one that is the radically reformed version of…

Cambridge University

In our society, we hold a common view about what Oxbridge is, but  are not so clear about what Oxbridge does. For example, how come that this Institution is also a multi £B industry? How significant are its links with the Church? Why should the alumni of this Institution be…

Consciousness

We currently understand very little about how the brain’s hundred thousand million neurons enable us to function, but as technology provides more neurological detail, the mechanisms behind all our various abilities will become intelligible. That’s why philosopher David Chalmers calls this the ‘easy’ problem – it’s potentially soluble. However, the…

Democracy

The Existing Political Regime Once every five years, our political system enforces an election which costs in excess of £120million. The Obama election in USA cost $7bn, enough to pay for 60,000 nurses. An election only allows us to put a cross on a piece of paper to select candidates…

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